Imperial Valley growers brace to give up Colorado River water
Across the sun-cooked flatlands of the Imperial Valley, water flows with uncanny abundance. The valley, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, is naturally a desert. Yet canals here are filled with water, lush alfalfa grows from sodden soil and rows of vegetables stretch for miles. … But now, as a record-breaking megadrought and endless withdrawals wring the Colorado River dry, Imperial Valley growers will have to cut back on the water they import. The federal government has told seven states to come up with a plan by Jan. 31 to reduce their water supply by 30%, or 4 million acre feet. The Imperial Valley is by far the largest user of water in the Colorado River’s lower basin — consuming more water than all of Arizona and Nevada combined in 2022 — so growers there will have to find ways to sacrifice the most.
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